Friday, 6 November 2015

60' Dress

Yes, it is true I already have a grey wool dress, yes, it is true I wear a lot of grey/brown/black in winter, but yes, it is true I really love this fabric.
It is some kind of thin wool flannel and it is so soft and such a pleasure to sew with. And I had bought a 3m coupon in the beginning which means that even after having sewn 2 dresses out of it, I still have some left for another one. The first one is here

More importantly: I bought September Burda and I think it is one rare great number. Not only did I sew this 60’ style dress, but I have an eye on two others.

So to the details: the dress is Burda 110-09/2015, the version with short sleeves and I have to admit, I got completely inspired by the magazine picture.

Note to myself: get better at ironing, the pictures were taken after several wears already.

As usual with Burda I had to adapt the shoulder area and took it in on the sides from the waist down. This time I am very proud of not only my invisible zipper, but also the invisible pockets. 

Yes, ye, there IS a pocket in this seam!!!

I like the minimalism of this dress which lets me accessorise it according to the circumstances. The dress is extremely confortable, be it for work or traveling. I just love the silhouette and the ease of movements.
I will not say that I will sew it again in another colour, but I think I just need some more 60’ inspired dresses. Thinking about some vintage ones, maybe…

I already talked about the fabric, warm enough for autumn/winter period; the dress is lined with black cotton-silk and so are the pockets. I know it is a risky one, but I just love the feeling of silk when I put my hands in the pockets :o)

Ok, a few pictures of the dress when worn, visiting the Chambord castle in Vallée de la Loire: it was an amazing autumn week-end with great weather and nice light, with all the autumn colours.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Grey Squares' Dress

This summer, I have done a round trip in South-East Asia, starting in Singapore, going through Malaysia and a part of Indonesia. And of course, I could not miss the opportunity to buy fabric, in each of these countries. 
In Malaysia, I was deceived at first, because most of the shops carried a terrible poly-something in all the possible colours and patterns, which was cheap even for the local budgets, but horrible when touched. Till… I fell in fabric heaven at Gulati silk – a five-floor shop, out of which I have only seen 3, and most loved the ground floor with its silks, cottons and silk-cottons. I left there with a huge bag of fabrics – in the cutest colours.

The patient shop-assistant who had his commission this day.

This is where I bought this cotton silk: the fabric is rather mate and crispy on the right side and shiny and slippery on the wrong side. So I was even hesitating whether to line the dress or not. And of course, I made my usual mistake and only bought one meter of this, in addition, there was a white line in the middle.

The autumn has already started in Paris, so I wanted to make another Colette-Peony dress, with longer sleeves, like this one. I can tell you, getting the pattern from the fabric was a real puzzle, but I can proudly say that I managed without having to cheat. I even had enough to cut the interfacing. As it is an autumn dress, I lined it entirely with black silk.

I did not bother with pattern matching, for two reasons: First, I barely had enough fabric for that and second, I assume the size and fussiness of this fabric is important enough so that the non-matching does not offend anybody.

There is not much to add to my own Colette Peony, this is my third version and I can now sew it blindfolded. I added pockets, even though after having it worn, I cannot put much in them. 
The dress is pretty light in itself, so anything like your phone or badge is adding too much weight. Never mind, after all the fuss with the pockets, I will not waste my time on closing them, right :o)

All I all, very happy about this make.

Inspiration: the fabric
Pattern: self-drafted, inspired by Colette Peony dress
Pattern changes: none
Technique: pockets
Fabric: grey-brown squared cotton-silk
Time to Complete: 2 weeks

Total Cost: 42 EUR

Monday, 5 October 2015

Backflash to summer

I just realized that I have not blogged for almost 3 months. What happened – not much. It all started with a crazy sewing period before my vacation when I was trying to finish some silk tops and a dress, 3 weeks of a great holiday in South-East Asia and then somehow work and daily life got over. I went back to sewing but was too exhausted to find time for blogging.

So, let’s just have a look at my last summer make before I get to present my latest creations. I bought this dark leopard silk at the beginning of the year and …. Was certainly NOT thinking enough … made a summer top from it, first. Which means that I ended up with about 90cm of the fabric trying to squeeze out a summer dress afterwards. Mental note: think before cutting and do the dress first.

Anyhow, I used Burda 134-05/2013 which is a nice vintag-y dress without sleeves and I had already tested it last year (never blogged about, because I never wore it). This time I tried to avoid the mistakes, such as adjusting the cleavage and armscyes on the last minute.

The dress is made from quite a slippery silk, with the upper part lined – I realized it was a cleaner solution than any bias binding or whatever finish I could imagine.

I finished the dress 2 days before the departure and I was so glad I did. The dress was just perfect for the hot and humid weather in Singapore and Malaysia, it felt like wearing nothing, or almost nothing.

Unfortunately, I do not have any dress form pictures, and it is now packed with all my summer clothes, so at least a few of me wearing it (with a different décor than my balcony).

Even though I love looking at my vacation pictures and remembering how hot it was over there, the autumn is officially here and I digged out all the wool fabric which is such a pleasure to sew with after all the slippery silk tops.

Inspiration: Burda vintage dress
Pattern: 134-05/2013
Pattern changes: shortened shoulder
Technique: NN
Fabric: dark leopard silk
Time to Complete: a week

Total Cost: 19 EUR

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Green Mushroom Dress

This was my quick project challenge. I managed to finish it in under one week, even though I had some doubts when sewing the dress and I had to do additional adjustments, mainly on the side seams.

I have chosen my false Colette Peony dress pattern – drafted by myself but inspired by Colette. I have already sewn it in wool for winter, so this is my silk summer version. The silk is somehow strange, I bought it because I liked the color and the little flower pattern, which seen from a distance look more like little mushrooms. At some point of time I was not even sure it was silk, but a burn test went out OK.

I do not think there is much to say about this dress: I am becoming a big fan of French seams, they just gve such a nice and smooth finish on the silk (did you know they are called “English seams” in French?) and I also lined the bodice with the self-fabric.
And the baby hem done on a machine accelerates the job!

The invisible zip on the back, being really invisible, I am getting really good in this :o)

And yes, I did not bother with pattern matching, I just made sure all the pattern pieces are correctly aligned (there is a diagonal pattern on the green background which was necessary to respect).

Inspiration: Colette Peony dress
Pattern: drafted by myself
Pattern changes: none
Technique: silk sewing
Fabric: green silk
Time to Complete: under one week

Total Cost: 18 EUR

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

White Eyelet Dress

Another dress from my summer series.
I bought this eyelet cotton fabric last year and absolutely wanted a summer dress from it then. Unfortunately, what is not done before my vacation in August, will never be made. Thus, my dreamed eyelet dress got only sewn this June.

The big challenge was certainly the transparency of the fabric. By principle, I do not like transparent clothes, as you always have to be careful where you take them and I wanted my white dress to be wearable to the office, as well. In addition, the eyelets in my fabric are really big :o)
So I decided to underline it with a silk mousseline, which is not exactly white, but more ivory but feels great against the skin.
Also, I used the underlining as binding of all seams: basically I have sewn the underlinings to all the pattern pieces before assembling it. The advantage is that sewing the dress was then really quick and smooth.

The pattern is 126-05/2013 from Burda. Nothing complicated but I like the simplicity of the lines (the original model is also in white). Seeing the dress finished, the skirt might have been a little bit narrower, mostly in the back, but this is a casual summer dress in the end which got a lot of wear during our travel week-ends, so I will keep it like that.

The dress bodice and skirt features pleat instead of darts which is a nice change from what I usually sew and wear. What I also like with the pattern is the high-cut neckline which means I do not risk getting a sunburn when I forget to put on sunscreen.

On the other hand it is large enough and comfortable to survive a day in the car.
I finished the neckline, as well as the armscyes with bias binding made from silk underlining. No fuss with sleeves this time, yay!

Finally, a few pictures of the dress being worn: sorry for the shades on my face, the pics were taken at noon, actually not the best idea.

Inspiration: Burda
Pattern: Burda 126-05/2013
Pattern changes: bodice shortening
Technique: underlining
Fabric: white eyelet “Madeira” dress
Time to Complete: a week

Total Cost: 25 EUR